Just recently I’ve found myself going a little crazy. I’m trying to settle down to do TWO particular tasks.

#1 – Create another highly targetted automated list builder.
#2 – Sort out the free learning site.

In both cases, I know exactly what it is I need to do, and while #1 should only take me about 4 hours or less, and #2 several days to get up and running, I find myself unable to do either one.

And it’s driving me mad.

The last 3 days I’ve sat down in the morning fully intending to to do #1. But each day I’ve just had a “play” with another little project that’s taken my fancy. And each day it’s ended up turning into an all day session.

What is it that’s got me so distracted?

Simple. “Offline Gold.”

In case you don’t know what that is, it’s turning your marketing skills (you have some right?) away from the internet and instead targetting local niche businesses such as dentists and plumbers etc.

The more I’ve looked at this, the more I’ve realised there’s very little competition, far less than there is online. And the number of small businesses that don’t even have a website is ridiculous. It’s like they’re living in a time warp – at least that’s what I thought initially.

I’m now beginning to realise that most of them would probably like to be online, but don’t have a good reason to invest possibly thousands doing so.

From what I can tell, that seems to be the perception of the costs involved. Thousands.

Now I know that’s amazing to you and me, as it’s dead easy to create a WordPress blog and then choose one of the many free themes that are knocking about. Add some text and a few photos and you’re done. Hey presto! A niche website.

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

There are any number of sites that are selling “web designs” to small businesses, but sod all that are selling marketing to them.

The fact is, pretty designs don’t make a sale, it’s the words that do it. It’s the words that pull in search traffic and it’s the words that turn a prospect into a customer. Yes a nice looking site certainly helps, but I’d guess less than 5% from my experience online.

What does that mean to you?

Well. If you can take the time out to educate businesses local to you about the power of a website to convert visitors to prospects to customers, they’ll look up to you and you’ll become the local marketing authority.

Ray LaFoy said to me a couple of years ago “our internet marketing skills would make us gods offline” I took that comment for granted at the time, but looking at the HUGE potential around us, and the fact that it’s crunch time for many businesses given the economic climate, isn’t this the perfect time to be investigating selling a few simple services to businesses local to you?

For instance, it should be relatively easy to ask small local businesses such as dental practices for $50 month in return for registering a domain and building a web site with a sign up box, all centred around WordPress. The $50 would be for “maintenance and backups” and is zilch in terms of costs to a dental practice charging $500 for 30 minutes work.

But it’s funny how thoughts can differ on subjects like this.

Discussing this with Paul (the developer of SmartDD), he said “isn’t that a bit much?”

Discussing it with my wife, she said “that’s nowhere near enough!”

Paul takes his enviable technical skills for granted and so doesn’t see any great value in his abilities. We ALL do that. We ALL underestimate how valuable our particular skill is to other people that wouldn’t have a clue how to get started. You have to put yourself in the right mind set and imagine yourself as not knowing anything about the subject in question.

My wife thought that $50 wasn’t enough for acting as a marketing consultant to small business, but that wasn’t my intention at this price point, and a quick and heated discussion sorted that out.

I think $50 per month is just right for a “foot in the door” product.

For $50 recurring each month you could afford to put aside 8 hours to put together a WordPress blog fully loaded with the plugins required and the content supplied by your client.

I won’t break down my thoughts behind those costs in this post, but 8 hours or less seems to me to be a reasonable amount of time to do the necessary work once the client has supplied all the content.

If you rate your time at a paltry $20 hour, then you’re losing money on the deal for the first 3 months. From month 4 and beyond you’re in the black.

But the REAL benefit is that you have a client who trusts you and sees you provide excellent value for money. From their perspective they’re paying you a pittance in return for a good looking website that they can go and add content to themselves.

If they want YOU to add the content, then as part of the deal you’ve already told them up front that you normally bill at $50 hour, including phone calls and other hand-holding tasks. My guess is that at least half of them will do it that way, but I could be grossly underestimating that and it might well be all of them.

That then becomes easy money for the skills involved.

Anything is easy if you know how to do it. For instance, if you’re a dentist and you know how to fill teeth or fit crowns, it’s not hard to do, but it IS worth a lot of money.

What I’m saying is, don’t underestimate your individual skills worth to other people.

Once you get past that additional money earner, then the next bit is to educate your clients about marketing and SEO. THIS is where the real money comes in.

When you have their interest you can start to give them quotes for additional “on page” optimising of their web sites. Then you can offer them backlink packages, for example you could offer an “ongoing SEO campaign” and add 10 incoming links per month (easy), and just add it to their existing payments.

Most small businesses will start to see results almost straight away from even the smallest link campaign as it’s very targetted – think “[your town] dentists” and you won’t go far wrong.

And as you educate them more and more about marketing, you can offer more and more such as setting up an autoresponder sequence. Once you’ve emphasised the money angle to them and the fact that a good sequence builds trust, it’s as good as sold.

And I have a few ideas about how you can do that to prove what you’re telling them is true.

Next, sell them on the concept of a sales page on their blog (completely unheard of by small businesses and will blow their minds) and add in my WordPress Affiliate Pages method and you have a winner on your hands.

The upshot of all this is I’ve clearly had my inquisitiveness “gland” tickled and I’ve been doing homework on the whole offline gold thing.

So what do think? Is this something you’d like to see me pursue and put together a product for?

It’s certainly something I’m up for, and I’m trying this out locally whether you say yay or nay. The difference is, should I put a bundle together for you to try out for yourself?

I’m very confident I know exactly where to go with this, and what kind of bundle would be useful to you as I’m running into my own issues already.

Yes. I’ve started building a site to launch this new venture from.

I couldn’t help it. I can spot a good money spinner a mile away, and I know this is one of them.

Multiple Income Streams.

That’s VERY important, just remember that phrase.

Comments please.

-Frank Haywood